Hillsboro Fire Department favors becoming a primary rescue unit, Fire Chief Ben Steketee told Hillsboro City Council Tuesday.
Marion County only has one primary rescue unit, in Marion. If a car accident happens anywhere in the county, the Marion rescue unit responds in case any trapped victims need to be extracted.
The county is seeking to establish primary units in Hillsboro, Peabody, and Florence, to reduce response times, Marion County Emergency Medical Services Director Steve Smith said.
Hillsboro Fire Department has the training and equipment necessary to be a primary rescue unit, Steketee said. The department also has enough manpower to meet a requirement that a rescue unit be on call at all times.
In addition to extrication, rescue units conduct rescues from water, ice, collapsed buildings, and other severe situations, Steketee said.
If the department becomes a primary rescue unit, the city would receive a 1-ton 1987 Ford truck. The city would be responsible for maintaining and eventually replacing the truck.
Council members said they favor having well-equipped emergency services, but they were concerned about the cost of replacing the truck.
Council member Byron McCarty said he wants a detailed plan to pay for the costs of a rescue unit before making a decision.
In other business:
- Vogts-Parga, of North Newton, will do Phase I work on improvements to Hillsboro Business Park, including street, drainage, sanitary sewer, and water line improvements, for $197,424. Mies Construction, of Wichita, bid $198,512, and APAC-Kansas, Shears Division, of Hutchinson, bid $222,600. The winning bid was nearly $40,000 lower than engineer Bob Previtera’s estimate of $237,229.
- Charles Rempel requested the council consider supporting Hillsboro Senior Center in its 2011 budget in whatever form available, whether direct financial assistance or utility discounts.
- The council turned down a request from Communities in Schools of Marion County for assistance, but they will consider budgeting for assistance in 2011.
- City health insurance rates from Midwest Public Risk rose 9.7 percent with no changes in benefits. City Administrator Larry Paine said that is a smaller increase than the city would have seen if it still purchased insurance from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.
- Reiss & Goodness Engineers will be paid $4,500 for work on Hillsboro Business Park.
- The council met in closed session for 25 minutes to discuss personnel. No action was taken on return to open session.
- The next council meeting will be 4 p.m. July 6.